This easy recipe for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Italian sausage in a cheesy tomato sauce makes a delicious low carb dinner the whole family will love!
If you're looking for easy zucchini recipes, try this low carb stuffed zucchini boats recipe. They're light but definitely satisfying and perfect for a quick dinner.
Whenever we have zucchini to use up, I usually make homemade zucchini bread or zucchini muffins or Baked Chicken and Zucchini. Sometimes, I'll chop some up and toss it into pasta sauce -- a great way to get the kids to eat more veggies!
But stuffed zucchini is one of my favorite summer dinners. I make zucchini boats without bread crumbs so they lower in carbs and keto friendly!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make these easy stuffed zucchini boats. What you don't already have at home should be easy to find online or in your local grocery store.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Italian sausage
- Sea salt
- Garlic powder
- Ground black pepper
- Marinara sauce or tomato sauce
- Parmesan cheese -- grated
- Zucchini -- sliced in half lengthwise
How to Make Zucchini Boats with Italian Sausage
This recipe makes 6 zucchini boats, and you'll have leftover sausage. You can easily use more zucchini or just save the leftover meat for another day or another recipe.
All you do is cook the sausage until no longer pink. While it's cooking, wash the zucchini, and cut off the stem end.
Next, cut it in half, lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the middle. Just make sure you don't go all the way to the bottom.
Place the zucchini on a sheet pan. I usually line mine with foil to make clean-up easier, but you don't have to do this. You can also use a casserole dish if you prefer.
Add your marinara sauce and a little Parmesan cheese to the sausage. Then, stir in the zucchini pulp, and cook until heated through.
Spoon the sausage mixture into the hollowed-out middles. A small teaspoon works great here!
Now, pop the sheet pan into a preheated oven. And bake the boats!
Bake the zucchini for about 15 to 20 minutes. It should be fork tender and the sausage stuffing should be bubbling.
You can top the boats with some shredded mozzarella cheese before serving. So good!
What to Serve with Zucchini Boats
Personally I'm a big fan of keeping the dinner light and simple. This way, there's plenty of room for dessert!
There are a few ways to customize this delicious stuffed zucchini recipe to your liking.
Use whatever type of ground meat you like in your boats. Ground turkey, turkey sausage, ground beef, and ground chicken are all great.
Or, go meatless! Not low carb, but you can stuff zucchini with rice, beans, or your favorite plant based protein option.
If you're on a low carb diet, using tomato sauce instead of marinara sauce yields lower grams of net carbs.
There are so many amazing flavor profiles you can try with these fresh zucchini boats! Make zucchini tacos with taco meat, shredded cheddar cheese, taco seasoning, sour cream, and diced fresh tomatoes.
Satisfy your pizza cravings with zucchini pizza boats. Use mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, and top your meat mixture with plenty of cheese!
Buffalo chicken zucchini boats and jalapeño popper chicken boats are also delicious! Zucchini is a super versatile vegetable, and there are many different ways to enjoy filled zucchini skins!
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover zucchini boats covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They'll keep for about 2 days before the zucchini shells start to get wilted.
Reheat zucchini boats in the microwave or rebake them in the oven.
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups marinara sauce or tomato sauce
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 large zucchini washed, sliced in half lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, add onions, and cook until slightly soft.
- Add Italian sausage, cook until no longer pink, and drain grease if necessary.
- Season with sea salt, garlic and pepper, then stir in marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.
- Scoop out flesh from zucchini, add to meat mixture, and cook until heated through
- Place zucchini on foil lined baking sheet, and spoon sausage into hollowed out zucchini
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until zucchini is fork tender and filling is bubbling
- Top with mozzarella cheese, if desired, allow to melt, and serve immediately
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
These low-carb stuffed zucchini boats are the best things for bringing healthy ingredients to the dinner table. I hope you enjoy these delicious zucchini boats as much as we do!
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recipe published in 2020 and updated in 2022.